By Nathan Ham
After nearly a month between football games, Appalachian State will host Arkansas State at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Thursday night. The game will be live on ESPN with Matt Barrie on the play-by-play, Mike Golic Jr. handling analyst duties, and Marty Smith on the sideline.
Appalachian last played on September 26 when they easily handled Campbell by a 52-21 score. The 26-day gap between games is the longest in school history.
This game will also welcome back 2,100 fans to the stadium thanks to Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 169 that allows large outdoor venues with 10,000 or more seats to have a seven-percent capacity, although tailgating at the stadium is still prohibited. Other than a select few tickets for visiting players’ family members, priority for seats will be given to App State players’ families, App State students, and season ticket holders. 800 tickets will be given to students through a ticket lottery, 650 tickets will go to season ticket holders based on Yosef Club rank, 450 tickets will go to App State and Arkansas State families and 200 tickets will be distributed through other ticket allotments.
This game is the Sun Belt Conference opener for the Mountaineers and will be the fourth meeting all-time between the two schools. App State leads the series 2-1 overall with each win belonging to the road team. App won the first matchup by a 37-32 score in 2014. In 2015, Arkansas State traveled to Boone on a Thursday night and handed the Mountaineers a 40-27 loss. Most recently, the two teams played in 2018 and the Mountaineers cruised to a 35-9 road victory.
Appalachian is 2-1 overall while Arkansas State is 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Sun Belt. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Gates for Thursday’s game will open at 6 p.m. Guests will be advised of their gate and arrival time, staggered to provide the least amount of congregating as possible while entering Kidd Brewer Stadium. Markers will be placed six feet apart outside stadium entrances to ensure six feet of physical distancing while guests are in line to enter. Guests will not be allowed to re-enter the stadium if they leave prior to the conclusion of the game.
All guests must follow the 3Ws — wear face coverings, wait to ensure six feet of physical distance and wash hands often or use hand sanitizer. Violation of physical distancing and/or face covering policies may warrant removal from the stadium.
University faculty, staff, and students in attendance must complete the university’s COVID-19 Daily Health Check prior to entrance.
Pocket-size hand sanitizer bottles will be given away at the East and West gates, while additional hand sanitizer stations will be positioned in the Ricks Athletics Center and throughout the stadium concourses.
Restrooms will operate at a reduced capacity to maintain distance between guests. Water fountains will not be operational. Cleaning services will sanitize high-touch locations throughout the game. In addition to face coverings, some event staff will wear face shields and gloves.
App State’s clear bag policy will be in effect for all guests.